Category: Press Release

Category: Press Release

Time to Build!

Following record high building material prices due to lumber shortages in July 2020 and plywood shortages earlier this year, homeowners are being told that now is a good time to start building again as prices have started to normalise.

Managing director at Arc Manufacturing Deanall Barnes told the Jamaica Observer the market is now adequately supplied with building materials. In addition to that, he highlighted that prices have already started to trend downward which should make these items more affordable for the average Jamaican.

“There’s a slowdown in China which has made more steel available for export which is increasing global competition and dragging down steel prices.” Barnes revealed that steel prices are down 10 per cent, form-ply down 15 per cent and lumber products down 12 per cent.

With that said the building materials company is reporting that sales are up, in line with the construction boom. Last week the Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ) reported that the construction industry continued its year-long growth trend with an uptick of 1.7 per cent for the July to September quarter.

Barnes said that based on research “there was a significant uptick [in construction] from Jamaicans in the diaspora.” He added that further discussions with financiers also revealed that there’s an increase in the demand for mortgage from persons in the diaspora.

“Those who did not have any form of property started looking to buy property in Jamaica and these property range in terms of prices from US$70,000 to as high as US$1.5 million. In addition to that, there are some persons who owned the land itself but there was no building on it, they started construction and when we had a discussion with the hardware owners they said there were persons who started and stopped and have now restarted.”

Barnes stressed that the major developments like high-rise apartments and road constructions do not impact his revenues as much as domestic construction. He described domestic construction as homeowners adding an additional room or retrofitting existing structures to accommodate the work from home lifestyle.

He said those activities, which constitute the core of the construction industry ,“has remained relatively healthy over the last 15 months.”

At the same time, he’s urging the Government to follow through on its commitment to increase the housing stock in Jamaica which will provide another added boost.

“We know to a large extent that the Government has not even achieved 30 per cent of its target to build 70,000 homes as yet. So we expect that the Government will push, through its agencies, whether the NHT (National Housing Trust) or the HAJ (Housing Agency of Jamaica), to try and get these numbers up and once the Government is firm on its path, then we are very confident that there will be a buoyancy in the industry despite the headwinds.”

At the same time, he is demanding that the Government find a way to remove red tape from the building approval process. He said removing red tape will provide a well-needed boost for construction workers who are left without an income while the approval process is being drawn out.

“There’s still an issue based on the discussions that we’ve had with some of the major developers in the country that the bureaucracy is still holding back the timeline in which projects are approved, and that lag in itself has caused negative impact on our industry.”

Another obstacle, he argued, is the Bank of Jamaica’s (BOJ) decision to increase its indicative monetary policy interest rate.

“The increase in interest rates by the BOJ although we understand it from the perspective of trying to manage inflation, there are some immediate deleterious consequences. Most, if not all, financial institutions are going to increase the rates charged to customers, so mortgage rates might go up as well as general loan rates so that can have a negative impact on the growth or continued boom.”

Nevertheless, he maintains that there’s hope on the horizon. “We are cautiously optimistic. There are some projects that have started which we expect to continue.”

Published by The Jamaica Observer.

ARC Employees Benefit from Defensive Driving Training

 As road fatalities continue to rise, ARC Manufacturing engaged Grennel’s Driving School to train a number of its transportation team members in defensive driving. 

The globally recognised National Safety Council’s Defensive Driving Course (NSC DDC) exposed drivers to numerous best-practise techniques, including defensive driving, preventative collision, pedestrian safety, hazard recognition, and vehicle maintenance.

The manufacturing company’s proactive approach to road safety will help its employees to anticipate driving errors of others, hazardous situations and support good decision-making strategies for safe driving.

ARC’s driver Steven Wright commented, “though I have been driving for almost two decades, the training highlighted areas I was never exposed to until now. It goes to show that you can never be too old to learn something new.”

In addition to its diverse portfolio of building materials, ISO 9001:2015 certified-ARC maintains its growth by supporting the development of staff at all levels throughout the business. This strengthens its talent pool and creates opportunities for workers to increase their earning potential.

Arc’s General Manager – Operations and Transportation Logistics, Yvonne Dacres said being able to recognise possible hazards and effectively respond promptly is a necessary skill that goes a far way in reducing road incidents.

“Ensuring the well-being of our team members and the communities we serve is a top priority, and that starts by creating a strong culture of safety,” she explained. “So with these fundamental defensive driving skills, our drivers can make better decisions in real-life situations to create a safer environment for everyone, both inside and outside the vehicle.”

ARC Manufacturing owns and operates one of the most modern lumber treatment facilities in the region. It employs over 300 people.

Published by Loop News.

Naedria Dyer – The Woman in Charge

GROWING up in Bull Savannah, St Elizabeth, Naedria Dyer’s goal was to become a teacher, but her life took an unexpected turn when she began her first job as a customer service representative at ARC Manufacturing Limited. The St Elizabeth native was determined to make her mark in the male-dominated field, which led to a career spanning roles in the commercial, credit and human resources arenas while in the big city.

Now the head of the company’s Montego Bay branch, Dyer’s journey to the top was no easy feat. She traded in her stilettos for steel-toed boots, and defied all odds to become a respected leader in the building materials industry.

Published by the Jamaica Observer.

ARC Strengthens its Commitment to the Environment

On the heels of World Environment Day, ARC Manufacturing Limited strengthened its commitment to the environment with a tree planting exercise at its Bell Road location. The initiative which was hosted under the theme ‘Plant a Tree for the Future,’ featured members of staff planting Durranta trees in line with its sustainable environmental business practices. 

Leading the charge, Managing Director Deanall Barnes explained that the company’s “adoption of green principles has benefitted all stakeholders.” 

“Sustainability has become a strategic and operational imperative at ARC and is a critical component in our quality management system. Not only has it impacted our livelihoods, but also the environment and surrounding communities in which we operate,” he stated.  

ARC also boasts one of the most modern Lumber Treatment facilities in the English-speaking Caribbean. This unique facility uses environmentally-friendly chemicals to preserve the life and dexterity of wood products, which reduces the effects of degradation caused by fungal decay.

The building materials company is on the verge of exploiting ways to enhance its conservation efforts and heighten its environmentally friendly culture.

ARC Tackles Violence Against Women

Due to increasing statistics of domestic violence across the globe, ARC Manufacturing Limited tackled the issue during the third instalment of its Power Lunch Series recently.

The event which was hosted via Zoom, featured Deputy Commissioner of Police (Ret’d) Novelette Grant delivering an impactful presentation on ‘Violence Against Women’.

During her presentation, Grant explored the effects of domestic violence on victims, businesses, and the economy as “it robs victims of their dignity and health, business continuity is affected through reduced productivity which negatively impacts the economy.”

There has been a global increase in domestic violence cases since the pandemic, so Grant urged her audience to use their power to challenge violence against women, advocate for change and gain the necessary knowledge to combat gender inequality, as it is a shared endeavour.

“Let us start to think about how we educate and train our boys in the ways of respect, empathy, and what it means to have healthy relationships and care for the dignity of those around,” she shared.

According to the General Manager of Corporate Affairs & Finance, Novlet Deans, the ISO 9001:2015 company exploits a number of programs that contribute to behavioural change and improved self-development.

“We try to connect our staff with the right resources to help them improve in every aspect of their lives. That, coupled with an environment where they can nurture their talents and assume fundamental roles within the organization, is what we believe will help to create more exemplary and effective leaders,” she stated.

ARC’s Power Lunch Series, is one of many initiatives that provide staff with opportunities for personal and professional enrichment, via key speakers from various sectors. The building materials company is expected to continue this trend as it looks to create an environment of equality and mutual respect, where women are represented in leadership roles and further career advancement opportunities for all its staff.

Published by Loop Jamaica.

ARC Rolls Out Power Lunch Series

ARC Manufacturing Limited recently kicked off its Power Lunch Series in conjunction with International Men’s Day, under the theme ‘Better health for men & boys.’

Acting Director of Emergency Medical Services (eMs) at the Ministry of Health and Wellness, Dr. Kurdell Espinosa-Campbell, came armed with solutions to combat common health conditions affecting men in Jamaica.

“Statistics show that men are most at-risk to die from stroke, diabetes, heart disease and prostate cancer, simply because they are afraid to visit the doctor. As a result, we have to take a multifactorial approach to educate and protect these valuable members of our society,” Dr. Espinosa-Campbell explained.

“So, I urge you to consult with a physician regularly because it is the only way to know if everything is working as it should, to ensure your mental and physical wellbeing.

The day’s proceedings also featured 17 tenured male employees being recognized for their significant contributions to the company’s growth and development.

ARC’s Power Lunch Series is geared towards the holistic development of its workforce, through impactful conversations with industry experts. Over the last three years, the building materials company has intensified its efforts to provide mentorship and training for staff through its collaborative learning approach.

According to General Manager of Corporate Affairs & Finance, Novlet Deans, these initiatives create a competent and confident workforce.

“Our lunch series will exploit opportunities that can accelerate individual growth to better equip our staff for successful integration into the wider society,” she stated.

“We anticipate that this will provide better outcomes for each employee while contributing to higher productivity and efficiency levels throughout our organization.”

The ISO 9001:2015 certified company believes that the development of its human resources can be maximized as a distinct competitive advantage and will continue to focus on developing its staff as a key strategic imperative.

Published by Loop Jamaica.

ARC Praises Team for their Outstanding Performance

Arc Manufacturing Limited recognized its group of sales representatives for their outstanding performance in sales and customer relations, at an intimate luncheon recently.

Despite the fallouts from COVID-19, its Montego Bay office copped the title for Most Improved Division. Sales Executive Nickeisha Horne topped the charts by achieving the Highest Dollar Value Sales and Highest Gross Profit Sales.

“We have an all hands on deck approach, so each division is integrally involved in what we do. We hold ourselves to a high standard of service, therefore, from start to finish, we are there at every step of the way for our customers,” she asserted while reliving a day in the life of a sales representative.

In her guest presentation, Dr. Terri-Karelle Reid expressed, “it is commendable that even during a pandemic, you stayed true to your customers because your excellence is unconditional.”

Sales Executive Nickeisha Horne (left) flashed a radiant smile as she accepts her token from guest speaker Dr. Terri-Karelle Reid (right).

Chairman Norman Horne noted that the company maintains its competitive edge by providing a superb customer experience through constant innovation, its extensive line of products, and superior delivery service islandwide.

Arc is a manufacturer of common wire nails and the sole manufacturer of binding wire in Jamaica. Its primary location is 14 Bell Road, which houses the corporate offices, warehouses, distribution hub, and manufacturing plants.

The company also operates a sales office, warehouse, and distribution outlet in Ironshore, Montego Bay.

Published by Loop Jamaica.

ARC Hails 22 of its Machine Operators

ARC Manufacturing Limited recognized 22 of the company’s technical employees who were certified as machine operators under the HEART Trust National Service Training Agency (HEART TRUST NSTA) Workforce Certification Programme, after completing over 126 hours of training and assessments.

Rian Forbes, one of the 22 certified employees, said, “I am always open to opportunities where I can grow and influence my peers, so I am happy I got the chance to participate in the programme. As challenging as it was, it was worth it”.

During his address to the honourees, acting director of business development and workforce solutions at the HEART Trust NSTA, Marlon Johnson highlighted the significance of their certification, before encouraging the group to continue with their educational pursuits and upward mobility.

“The certificate you hold separates you from the average individual, so be proud of yourselves. You can go anywhere in the world to show that you are trained and certified as machine operators. Your certificate is yours for life because you put in the work, and no one can take that from you,” Johnson said.

The company noted that over the years, it has partnered with the HEART Trust to train its employees in various disciplines, such as customer service, forklift operating, and machine operating. The company said it plans to continue partnerships into the future.

ARC Manufacturing is a leading manufacturer and distributor of building materials in Jamaica. They employ over 250 individuals.

Published by the Jamaica Observer.

ARC Manufacturing Nails Down Expansion Plan

ARC Manufacturing to transform Ferry Pen into manufacturing and distribution hub; Manufacturing plants to cover 18 acres of land

Construction and building supplies manufacturer, ARC Manufacturing has outlined an ambitious plan to develop the Ferry Pen area, which encompasses its Bell Road, Kingston 11 base, into a massive manufacturing and distribution hub.

Ferry Pen is located in the Three Miles area and is adjacent to Spanish Town Road on the left heading from Kingston. ARC Manufacturing chairman, Norman Horne, who made the announcement in an exclusive interview with the Caribbean Business Report, disclosed that the current Bell Road head office will be converted into a 100 per cent manufacturing facility.

The manufacturing facility will cover the entire 18 acres of land, which includes the former KIW warehouse, which ARC acquired from the Government some years ago and is currently being used for its lumber depot and warehousing facility. The acquisition of the warehouse property has allowed ARC to continue operating from that location which spreads towards its headquarters on Bell Road in Kingston.

“We have some other factories that we intend to bring on board at this facility,” Horne divulged. ARC Manufacturing, which is one of the leading manufacturers and distributors of premium-quality building materials in Jamaica, operates a series of plants on Bell Road, which stretches several football fields in length and width towards Spanish Town Road.

Two years ago ARC expanded to set up two additional plants that manufacture roofs and chain fencing. When quizzed about the plan, the ARC chairman explained that the development has been in the works for some time but the plans have had to be pushed back due to COVID-19, which has caused things to slow down a bit.

Horne was quick to add, “As soon as COVID-19 is over us, we plan to get back on track.”

FERRY PEN DEVELOPMENT WILL INCREASE COMPETITIVENESS

He emphasised that the overall plan for the manufacturing and distribution hub in the Ferry Pen area will make the company and its manufactured products more competitive. According to Horne, “We believe that we can produce a number of products competitively in Jamaica, not just for the local market but also for the export market.”

The ARC Manufacturing chairman declared, “I am encouraging the Government to pay more keen attention, in not necessarily protecting the domestic market but also increasing the competitiveness of local manufacturers so that local products will have a greater reach in the domestic market.”

Last week ARC Manufacturing won the support of US Ambassador to Jamaica Donald Tapia, who committed to assist the company with finding markets in America for its products. The US ambassador made the announcement during an interview with the Jamaica Observer following a tour of the company’s 14 Bell Road, Kingston 11, plant last week Thursday.

ARC Manufacturing produces a range of products and services including wire and steel products, chain-link fencing, aluminum-steel roofing tiles and more. The 18-acre plant features seven factories, including a state-of-the-art lumber treatment plant.

Published by the Jamaica Observer.

US Ambassador Promises to Help ARC with Finding Markets in the US

Building supplies manufacturer and distributor ARC Manufacturing has won the support of US Ambassador to Jamaica Donald Tapia who has committed to assisting the company with identifying markets in America for its products.

The US ambassador made the announcement following an interview with the Jamaica Observer’s Sunday Finance following a tour of the company’s 14 Bell Road, Kingston 11, plant on Thursday. ARC Manufacturing is one of the leading manufacturers and distributors of premium-quality building materials in Jamaica.

Its range of products and services include wire and steel products, chain-link fencing, aluminum-steel roofing tiles and more. The 18-acre plant features seven factories, including a state-of-the-art lumber treatment plant.

The courtesy call by the US ambassador was driven by his desire to see how manufacturing companies in Jamaica are weathering the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Ambassador Tapia told Sunday Finance that he is impressed with ARC’s operations.

TAPIA COMMITS TO HELP

He emphasised that despite the challenges faced by the company with COVID-19, “the future looks bright, and I think that together we might be able to open up some markets in the US that he [Norman Horne, ARC’s chairman] has not been into”. Ambassador Tapia made the point that COVID-19 is a problem for all countries, especially their manufacturing sector.

“What I am looking forward to is talking to Mr. Horne on what we can do to help exporting. We need to raise the export into the US or the export of Jamaican products into the US,” the US ambassador explained. Tapia also promised to assist ARC to get an audience with industry players “and put something together so he [Horne] can start exporting products that he is actually manufacturing here.”

AMBASSADOR PRAISES ARC FOR NO LAYOFFS

Turning to the issue of staff retrenchment given the impact of COVID-19, Ambassador Tapia heaped praises on ARC for keeping staff levels constant in spite of the fall-off in business as a result of COVID-19. “The thing that impresses me is during COVID-19 that he [Horne] is doing everything possible to maintain the number of employees that he has…that’s huge for somebody to step forward and try to maintain every employee.”

Horne, who led the tour, told Sunday Finance that they both would be having extensive discussions about COVID-19 and its impact on the business.

Published by the Jamaica Observer.